Pots and People in the Middle Bronze Age: assessing the Heatherstone Grange cremation cemetery – Abstract & Video

The following paper was presented at the New Forest Knowledge Conference 2017 entitled: New Forest Historical Research and Archaeology: who’s doing it? Below you will find the abstract of the paper and a video of the paper given if permission to film it was given by the speaker.


Dr Richard Massey, Cotswold Archaeology


Located on a former military site on the western margins of the New Forest, at Bransgore, and overlooking the Avon valley, the Heatherstone Grange cemetery originated as a group of four Early Bronze Age round barrows and associated burials, one of which contained a beaker vessel. The site was excavated by Cotswold Archaeology in late 2015, following an earlier evaluation.

The reuse of this burial site after an interval of several centuries included the insertion of 40 cremation burials and cremation‐related deposits in one of the barrows, with further, more scattered burials recorded in other parts of the site. The remains of 36 pottery vessels were recovered, most of which were associated with cremation‐related deposits, either as burial urns or accessory vessels. These included a group of 17 well‐preserved urns of the Deverel‐Rimbury tradition, which were unusual for their remarkable range of size, form and decoration. An initial group of radiocarbon dates has indicated a date range for these of c. 1500‐1300 BC. These vessels displayed clear cultural affinities with examples from the Stour Valley and Cranborne Chase to the west, and are closely paralleled by examples from major excavated cemeteries of this period.

Cremated bone samples were small, and in most cases their condition did not permit detailed assessment. A significant proportion of deposits contained only charcoal‐rich pyre debris, without cremated bone.

The remains of a ditched enclosure and pits in the south of the site appear to represent evidence of a contemporary domestic settlement.

The Talk


Date: 2017

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